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A Cure For That Infamous Decree

When we commit a mistake and we realize that we have committed such a mistake the sensible thing to do is to correct our mistake. And we usually do this immediately in order to offset the committing of more mistakes.

But there are mistakes which seem to resist correction not only for days but even for centuries. This resistance to correction is made by men who are supposed to have scientific knowledge of the mistake made.

The Mistake in Astronomy

Take the case of the teaching about the movement of the earth and the sun. From 150 A.D. (and even before this by Aristotle and his followers) it was taught by scientists and learned men of the Church that the earth was a stationary planet in the center of the universe and the other planets and the sun revolved around it. It is obvious to us now that this is not true. You remember this as the Ptolemaic theory of the solar system. This was corrected in 1543, more than 13 centuries later, by Copernicus but his correction was not accepted by the scientists of his day. In 1616 Galileo tried to prove that Copernicus was correct but instead of accepting this correction he was condemned by the Inquisition and remained until his death under house arrest. More centuries followed before the Church leaders accepted the correction of Galileo and acknowledged their mistake. This was done by John Paul II on October 31, 1992. He acknowledged that the church leaders had committed a mistake and correction was to be made about this.

A Greater Mistake Than That in Astronomy

But there is a mistake more serious than that committed by the church leaders on the case of Galileo. It is a mistake with more disastrous consequences not just for science and scientists but for ordinary people like you and me. And billions of people have suffered because of this mistake. And this mistake has not yet been corrected by the church leaders or by the successors of those who committed this mistake.

I am referring to that infamous decree made by the Roman emperor Theodosius on February 27, 380 making Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire. This was a most tragic mistake, the worst that any emperor made, because it involved falsifying the teachings of Jesus. And yet this mistake has not been corrected yet, after more than 1,600 years.

No church leader nor successor of the Emperor Theodosius has come out and publicly acknowledged that this decree was a tragic mistake and needs to be corrected.

Stages in Correcting This Disastrous Mistake

The first stage in the cure for this infamous decree then is to convince the church leaders, even the successor of Emperor Theodosius as Pontifex Maximus (one of the titles of the Roman Pope), to come up with a public acknowledgement of the mistake made, just like what John Paul II did in the case of Galileo.

This revocation of that decree would release all those who were made Christians by that decree from all their obligations. They would be given a chance to start all over again or deny Christianity as their religion.

The second stage in the cure is to put back the practice of the catechumenate and improve it. Some churches have already done this, the most successful that I know of is that of the Church of Christ founded by Felix Manalo in the Philippines. Before a person is received into this Church he has to undergo 28 lessons in the fundamental doctrines of the Church, then he has to attend 15 weeks of group prayer meetings before he can be screened for baptism.

The third stage in the cure is to follow up on new members to make sure that they develop in their spiritual life.

In this time of spiritual awakening when more and more persons in all churches are spiritually awakened and there is uneasiness and spiritual hunger for genuine Christianity—and the signs of a spiritual awakening are all around us—we need to wake up spiritually and see where have our church leaders committed mistakes and convince them to correct these mistakes.

Only when the mistake about that infamous decree of Theodosius has been corrected and cured will we have the beginnings again of real genuine Christianity spreading among us.

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